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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
7th October 2016


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Please note that you are viewing an archived issue of The KBzine.

International News

Ideal Standard adds to Concept Freedom range with new accessible bath for all ages

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Ideal Standard has extended its successful 'accessible bathroom range', Concept Freedom, with the addition of a new accessible bath, suitable for the whole family.

Now this is what you call a bubble bath...

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If anything stokes the need to pop a bottle of champagne and 'chill out in the tub' in a candle-lit bathroom, it's this Newton Bathtub, which is now on show at Maison Valentina in Italy. It would almost be criminal not to go the whole hog, wouldn't it?

SieMatic Pure SE 3003 newly on display at Urban Interior (London)

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Embrace the 'Purest World' of SieMatic with the Pure SE 3003 R Kitchen, now taking centre stage as a new display at interior design studio, Urban Interior.

Czar kitchen taps from Abode: simple, stylish and easy to use

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"There are times when 'simple, stylish and easy to use' outweighs architecturally designed pieces in the kitchen," states Helen Clark, marketing manager at Abode "and our new Czar kitchen mixer taps, we believe, will become the staple diet of any modern kitchen. For us it's not about creating just functional objects, it's about creating both a functional and practical object with stylish clean lines and modern shapes."

LDL extends Leyton lighting range

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Leading distributor LDL Components had extended its range of Leyton lighting solutions with the addition of two new easy to install, energy-saving LED lights - the Roma battery-powered sensor light and the Kwadra surface mounted light.

Blanco brings stainless steel to another level

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Blanco boasts an extensive portfolio including sinks, taps, induction hobs, and extractors but the company also provides innovative surfaces, introducing Durinox.

Blanco Durinox is the ultimate innovation in stainless steel. Extremely hard and highly resistant to scratches, Durinox stainless steel surfaces are given these special characteristics via a new finishing process that originates from the aerospace industry.

Blue light shines on floor to signal end of wash on new integrated dishwasher

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Amica's new, fully-integrated (behind a cupboard door) dishwasher features an innovative Blue-Dot of light that shines on the floor in front of the dishwasher to indicate when the wash cycle is complete.

Steel introduces Plasma technology to its range of cooker hoods

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Luxury Italian appliance brand Steel has redesigned its collection of cooker hoods to feature innovative Plasma technology, which allows for air to be filtered, cleaned and recirculated back into the kitchen during the cooking process, as opposed to traditional cooker hoods which waste this extracted air.

Smiths Briten reaches new highs with latest shower enclosures

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With the height of the population ever growing - the average UK man being 5% taller today than he would have been 100 years ago, and 2% taller than he would have been 30 years ago - shower enclosures need to measure up.

Baths by Clay produces some fab Hi-Macs basins

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In our ever-evolving homes, there is one room that maintains its purpose of form and function - the bathroom. This sanctuary of the soul is our retreat from the stresses and strains of everyday life; a place where we can escape to relax and unwind after a hard day. 

Zanussi celebrates centenary year

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Zanussi turned 100 years old this year, 2016. To celebrate this milestone, earlier this year it launched an engaging, integrated campaign across key retail channels to highlight its rich history as one of the most creative and exciting brands in the industry.

"Zanussi is a brand that represents the zeitgeist of many generations," says Vanessa Holloway, senior consumer marketing manager at Zanussi. "Everyone can remember a Zanussi appliance in the backdrop at one time in their life... From a hand-made, wood-burning oven produced in a corner of Italy to more than six million units sold each year; Zanussi is a company that has earned consumer trust through its cutting-edge design, innovation and outstanding quality over the last 100 years."

Small kitchen? No problem with the new Elon 45 S sink

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Small spaces no longer have to compromise with the new Blanco Elon 45 S sink.

This model has a compact single bowl with a maximum bowl size for a 45cm cabinet and a bowl depth of 190mm. The innovative 205mm x 436mm stainless steel drainer grid, which fits with the unusual curved design of the sink drainer, provides extra space, making this a truly multi-functional kitchen.

'Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the fairest of them all?'

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Surprisingly, many of us overlook the impact a finishing touch can have on a room, yet The Bathroom Shop recognises that it's the finer details which can give that all important WOW factor. Arguably one of the most reliant features in the bathroom, a mirror or mirrored cabinet is a must-have consideration in the early stages of design and one that should never be neglected.

Back in black and white: the amazing Arc from MHS Radiators

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MHS Radiators has added the handsome Arc Black and refined Arc White to its stunning range of designer radiators. There are 10 models of each radiator available, with either single or double tubes.

Welcome to the



Almost nine out of 10 (88%) company car drivers admit to speeding on the UK’s motorways, and almost half (48%) break the speed limit on motorways on most journeys, (up 7% on last year’s figures) according to RAC Business research released today.

That’s quite a lot, isn’t it? And add to those numbers the myriad of drivers from overseas, who no doubt keep up with the traffic flow, (as long as there aren’t any hold-ups) and it’s clear that motorists on our roads are travelling at quite a pace, aren’t they?

Apparently, just over half (51%) typically drive at 80mph on motorways, while 7% drive at 90mph. This is also an increase on 2015 figures when 46% confessed to driving at 80mph and 5% to 90mph.

Some  60% of company car drivers think it is totally acceptable to travel at 80mph on motorways and a third (31%) think the current speed limit is inappropriate for the road. In line with that, nearly three quarters (71%) believe the motorway speed limit should be increased to 80mph.

We all lead such busy lives these days and are under pressure work-wise to achieve so much more throughout the course of the day, that driving as fast as we can safely get away with, without getting caught, is quite a temptation, isn’t it?

RAC Business reminds us that driving at 80mph instead of 70mph will only save us six seconds a mile, or 10 minutes over 100 miles, and that driving at 80mph can use 25% more fuel than driving at 70mph.

That extra 10 minutes saved for every 100 miles of travel, when breaking the legal maximum speed of 70mph, still seems tempting – particularly so for salespeople who these days seem to spend dangerously long hours on the road… but looked at in terms of extra fuel use, it’s not such a good idea – particularly if it’s your own business that’s paying for you to be on the road. Knowing the hundreds of miles some of those in this industry clock up over the course of a week, the impact of speeding on fuel efficiency, can be enormous!

Whether you’re one of our many overseas readers, who drive for business on the UK’s roads, or whether you live here, do tell us whether you think motorway speed limits should be increased and if you’re one of those that regularly breaks the law…



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Jan Hobbs



This Week's News

KBSA "proud to report another successful AGM and National Conference"

* KBSA_Digby-Jones.jpgThe Kbsa is delighted to report that this year's AGM and National Conference and Networking Dinner surpassed last year's success. Attended by over 58 retailers and 42 Corporates, the event attracted over a 120 delegates.

This year's meeting opened with a welcome from Tina Riley (national chair), followed by a presentation by Uwe Hanneck, acting KBSA CEO and consultant. Uwe presented the future strategy of the KBSA and outlined the forthcoming changes to 'future proof' the association. The significant change was the relaxing of the mandatory insurance requirement for domestic contracts. The resolution was passed with a majority vote.

KBSA Designer Awards Winners - a rundown

* AWARDS.jpgThe KBSA has announced the winners of the 2016 KBSA Designer Awards.

Winner of the Kitchen Designer of the Year (Under £30K), sponsored by Omega, was Aileen Thomson of Kitchens International, with her 'blend of modern and traditional' kitchen.

Winner of the Kitchen Designer of the Year (Over £30K), sponsored by Mereway, was Chris Smith, of in-toto kitchens (Southport) with his 'mixture of how traditional and contemporary can work together'.

Methven retains exclusive CoolBrands status

* Methven-Coolbrand-shower.jpgMethven, the global designer and manufacturer of premium showers and tapware, has been named among an exclusive list of companies to be given official 'CoolBrands' status in the UK for the second year in a row.

The UK's CoolBrands, a list of the UK's coolest brands published annually since 2001, is decided by public vote and a panel of experts featuring leading figures in fashion, media and culture. For the second year running, Methven is the only shower and tap brand to appear in the list, which is independently administered by The Centre for Brand Analysis and considers thousands of brands from more than 50 sectors.

Abode continues investment in training

* Abode-Apprentices.jpgThree years ago, Abode committed to giving something back to the community, in and around the local Barnsley area, by employing a number of apprentices.

Regan Goddard, who joined in 2014, has worked and studied diligently and has already graduated with a nationally recognised NVQ Level 2 qualification.

Franke extends popular Kubus sink range with a new super-sized model

* Franke-Kubus1.jpgFranke has extended its best-selling Kubus stainless steel undermount sink range with the addition of the new, super-sized KBX 110-70. The sink measures 700 x 400mm with an extra-deep 230mm bowl.

As well as offering a larger capacity for prepping, rinsing and washing, the undermounted installation gives a flawless, uninterrupted look to the worksurface for a more streamlined aesthetic in the kitchen.

American standard launches campaign to announce new ActiClean self-cleaning toilet

* American-Standard.jpgUnexpected visitors? Worse yet, the in-laws stopping by unannounced? It's no worries with the new ActiClean self-cleaning toilet from American Standard. Simply press a button, walk away, and let the toilet do the rest.

Just ask Howie Mandel.

The comedian, television host and self-described germaphobe is helping launch the ActiClean self-cleaning toilet, serving as its PR spokesperson.

Britannia Living launches integrated dishwasher

* Brit-Cascata.jpgBritannia Living, the premium kitchen appliance specialist, has expanded its portfolio of luxury appliances with the addition of a fully integrated 60cm dishwasher.

The Britannia Cascata dishwasher boasts an A+++ energy rating, a generous 14 place setting capacity and eight different wash cycles, including economy and rapid wash cycles. The appliance has six temperature levels and also offers features including a 1-24 hour delay start timer and an LCD digital display. It also has low water consumption of 10 litres and low noise level of 45dB.

Take part in the iKBBI National Waste Survey 2016

* ikbbi-waste.jpgThe Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installers is inviting the industry to take part in a National Waste Survey, the results of which should provide a better understanding of the working habits of the sector.

The 30 second survey is designed for kitchen, bedroom & bathroom installers, and one lucky winner will be picked randomly to receive a £100 fuel voucher as a prize for completing the survey.

British Ceramic Tile steps out at London Fashion Week

* BCT-Fashion-week.jpgThe world of fashion and interiors have once again united, with British Ceramic Tile stepping out in style at London Fashion Week 2016, which took place last month. The UK's leading ceramic and glass tile manufacturer, once again supported LFW, tiling the New Gen area at the show, a space dedicated to celebrating the young designers of the future.

The company, which designs and manufactures its fashion forward tile collections here in Britain, supplied 60sq.m of Colour Compendium Mono White Gloss Wall tiles in a 148 x 148mm size, and a selection of flat gloss white wall tiles in a 300 x 600mm size.

Alno UK appoints a new south east area sales manager

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Working alongside Alno's retail sales team, Jamie Howard will provide support to the Alno dealers and in-toto franchisees in the South East area and will be responsible for driving the sales and profitability of the customer through the implementation of brand strategies.

Vado Rally raises £65,000 for the Rainy Day Trust

* VADO-charity.jpgIn the early hours of a perfect September morning, 124 unusually dressed people packed into 37 vividly decorated cars, gathered together in Dover for the start of the gruelling four-day Vado rally across Europe. Coming from as far as Dundee and the southern tip of Cornwall, each of the teams came with one purpose, to raise money for the industry charity, the Rainy Day Trust.

Furniture makers cycle to charity success

* charity-bike-ride.jpgIt was certainly the case of 'going the extra mile' last month, as a team of 22 furniture makers embarked on an extremely arduous and ambitious cycle challenge in the name of charity.

Led by Burbidge managing director, Ben Burbidge, this September saw the team, all drawn from within the British furnishings industries, complete a 6-day 450-mile bike challenge from the City of London to Bordeaux in South Western France.

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How to contact us at The KBzine:
Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373





John Austen
Publishing Director
Email:[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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Recent News

Dream Doors and Articad: a partnership for growth

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Dream Doors has selected ArtiCAD as its CAD partner not only for the company's headquarters but also as the preferred design solution for its UK-wide network of franchisees. Dream Doors has invested in three of the company's products: ArtiCAD-Pro, the company's flagship KBB CAD design software, Room Styler (the visualisation tool) and Pan360 (panoramic viewer).

New housebuilding in 2015 sees 12% increase in kitchen and bathroom products market

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New housebuilding is an important end use sector for kitchen and bathroom products, and in 2015 it was estimated to account for approximately 13% of the overall UK kitchen and bathroom products market. The market for kitchen and bathroom products in newbuild housing increased by an estimated 12% in 2015 to reach a value in excess of £700m, reflecting the continued steady improvement in the UK economy, consumer confidence levels and significant growth in the housebuilding market.

Ideal Standard factory at Armitage stars in new BBC children's programme about toilets

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A new television programme featuring bathroom manufacturer Ideal Standard's Armitage factory in Staffordshire aired on Wednesday.

R&D tax relief claims by construction firms rise by a quarter

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New statistics from HMRC have revealed there was a 26% year-on-year rise in the number of claims for research & development tax credits submitted by construction firms in 2014-15.


British Ceramic Tile announces new area sales manager

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British Ceramic Tile has appointed David Brooks as its new area sales manager. David joins a 10 strong sales team, reporting to national sales manager Paul Wright. David will cover the North West, developing relationships with new and existing retailers to grow the company's presence within the independent market.

IDS expands its senior team with a new regional sales manager north

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Surface materials distributor IDS has appointed Jamie Ibbetson to the new position of regional sales manager north.


Abode and Barwick form new partnership

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Abode and renowned bathroom distributor, Barwick Bathroom Distribution, have formed a partnership to promote and sell the company's vast range of designer-led bathroom taps and showering solutions throughout the UK.

Swan celebrates success at IFA 2016

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British brand Swan is returning from the world's leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, IFA, having celebrated a successful show in Berlin.


Frontline Bathrooms launches Autumn Winter 2016/17 brochure

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Luxury is the name of the game this season, and UK bathroom distributor Frontline Bathrooms has pulled out all the stops in its new Autumn Winter 2016/17 brochure to make it the biggest and best yet.

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